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Presidents and Kings

and why we have nothing to fear except fear itself and also nameless terrorists who might attack us at any moment.

by Dear Jon
June 7, 2005

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Presidents and Kings
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

What is a good way to stop procrastinating?

Signed,
 
Dear Didn't Get Around to Adding a Name,
 
The best way for a procrastinator to stop procrastinating is to get up in the morning and say, "Today, I am going to procrastinate."
 
If the procrastinator makes good on procrastinating, then at least they have not procrastinated about procrastinating, which is a first step. It might be a small first step, but at least it's progress. Sort of. But, if the person puts off procrastinating, then suddenly all of these little projects will get taken care of, such as, mailing in the tax return, moving the snow shovels from the front hallway into the garage, or, who knows? For some it might mean you will procrastinate on procrastination and actually look for a job.
 
 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

You are the longest running columnist of the Partial Observer. What's the secret of your success?

PO Reader
 
Dear P.O.,
 
Readers like you who send me mail are the reason I have kept going. Also, having a Webmaster threatening to skin me alive if I quit.
 
 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

What's up with Tom Cruise? Katie Holmes over Nicole Kidman? Did he not get enough "Dawson's Creek?"

Eyes Wide Shut
 
Dear Eyes,
 
On a previous sort I do not have the time to look up I talked about Tom Cruise dumping Nicole Kidman. This is just another chapter of the same old story.
 
 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Does the Queen of England have any real power? Or is she just a figurehead? Are there any monarchies in Europe which still wield power?

King for a Day
 
Dear King,
 
There are none. Europe is divided between republics in which elected presidents occupy the executive office, and parliamentary democracies in which an inheritor accedes a throne. Many of the republics have presidents with powers vastly more diminished than in the United States, but their power is real. A parliamentary democracy invests most of its executive powers in the leader of the majority party in the parliament.
 
The best way to understand this, is as follows: Let's suppose that, following memos written in the Justice Department, the neo-conservatives decide to nominate George W. Bush as "President for Life." Then, let us suppose that they decide to make the succession to President for Life hereditary. Then let us suppose that in subsequent years the President decides that Congress can be closed, say, for two years, until Americans get it in their thick heads to vote for the right kind of majority. That would sure make things a lot simpler, wouldn't it? Finally, a President with all the power he needs to keep us SAFE. Safe from terror! Safe from FEAR! Safe from AMERICA'S ENEMIES WHO WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO HARM US. Because freedom really ISN'T FREEDOM until we are ALL ABSOLUTELY SAFE. Safe is free.
 
Then, suppose that during the reign of George III, some extremist Americans decide that they have had enough of this kind of "tyranny," and this lunatic fringe decides to revolt  under such slogans as "Don't Tread on Me" and "Income Taxes are Unconstitutional" and "you can't get more unpatriotic than the patriot act" and other hysterical, paranoid nonsense. But then, suppose that they win. Suppose that they are able to establish a new representative government on the premise that no one branch should wield absolute power?
 
Then you get the kinds of governments that are in place throughout Europe. Except in those places where the majority power has too much power. But then, you see, there's a funny thing. They have these elections, in which the PEOPLE also hold a balance in power. Very often a majority party that abuses its mandate during its five-year term, finds itself voted out—to the point of near extinction.
 
Europeans have this crazy idea that politics can include more than two shades of one idealism. But you know, that's Europe and WE'RE US, and, whether it's a New Deal Demoplican or a War on Terror Republicrat, we need to have an Imperial President who can keep us SAFE, because the only thing to fear is fear itself, and FEAR IS EVERYWHERE! 

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